Tag Archive | "Lexus"

Toyota Recalls 1.67 Million Toyota, Lexus Cars

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it would recall a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could hinder the brake’s performance, Reuters.

Toyota said in an email it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths resulting from the defects. Some 1.05 million vehicles will be recalled in Japan and 615,000 overseas, covering Toyota models Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah, Voxy, Corolla Rumion and Auris, as well as more than a dozen Lexus models.

Car makers have faced heightened global scrutiny on how quickly they share information with regulators and the public since a massive recall crisis in 2009 battered Toyota’s reputation and sales. Most vehicle recalls are issued on a voluntary rather than mandatory basis.

Toyota recalled 6.39 million vehicles globally in April in its second-largest recall announcement ever. Two months later, the company issued a recall of almost 2.3 million vehicles globally for faulty airbag inflators that have also plagued other car makers.

In the latest recall, about 802,000 Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models manufactured between June 2007 and June 2012 will be called back to replace a rubber seal ring in the brake master cylinder to prevent brake fluid from leaking. If brake fluid has already leaked, the brake booster will be replaced.

A second recall of about 759,000 vehicles globally, including 423,000 in the United States, will fix faulty fuel delivery pipes that could, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire through a fuel leak. Some of these vehicles are also subject to the first recall.

Toyota will also recall in Japan 190,000 front-wheel drive Corolla Rumion and Auris models built between October 2006 and October 2014 that are not equipped with an idling feature to fix a defective fuel evaporative emission control unit.

Shares in Toyota closed 0.2 percent higher in Tokyo at 5,990 yen after the recalls were announced, while the exchange’s Topix index .TOPX gained 0.8 percent.

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Dealership Buy/Sell Activity Jumps 60% in Q1

Irvine, CA — Kerrigan Advisors, a firm specializing in serving dealership sellers, released its quarterly report on dealership buy/sell activity in the U.S. Market. It found that such activity increased dramatically in the first quarter.

Laying out the high, average and low multiples for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments for the quarter, the Kerrigan Quarterly Blue Sky Report offers a detailed view of public and private company dealership acquisition activity. In addition to the sharp spike in selling, the report found that that blue sky pricing remains high for most franchises and that the market has established a pricing floor.

“As anticipated, an increase in the number of sellers coming to market has led to a major uptick in buy/sell activity,” said Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors. “We attribute this to high blue sky prices, buyer demand for dealerships and a slowdown in dealership profit growth, meaning sellers are concerned about missing the market and want to ensure they exit on top.

“Private companies continued to dominate the market in quarter one, although public company activity rose slightly during the quarter and will likely continue to pick up after the announcement of Lithia’s acquisition of DCH,” she added. “The publics, however, are being very disciplined with their capital allocation. If they believe the better investment is their own stock, they are choosing a stock buyback over an acquisition. In the first quarter, collectively, they chose to spend 70% more on their own stock than on U.S. acquisitions.”

The firm found that buy/sell activity increased 60% in the first quarter and that more sellers are coming to market to capitalize on high blue sky values that may fade as earning growth slows. Blue sky values remain at elevated levels as dealership earnings continue to grow, albeit more slowly; and multiples remain high or reach higher levels.

The multiples for Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Porsche have increased since 2013, the report noted. As competition for auto retail market share heats up, buyers are placing an even higher premium on these franchises. And with the average dealership earning an annual 28% return on equity, few dealers are willing to sell their franchises for less than a 3x blue sky multiple in today’s market.

“While the future continues to look rosy for dealership acquisitions, we will likely start to see some negative shifts as increasing competition for car sales brings blue sky winners and losers,” Kerrigan concluded.

To read the full report, click here.

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DealerRater: Lexus and Hyundai Rank Highest Among Automotive Manufacturers in Customer Experience

Waltham, Mass. – Lexus and Hyundai rank highest among automotive manufacturers based on consumer-written dealership reviews, according to the Consumer Rating Index (CRI) for Auto Manufacturers released by DealerRater.

CRI rankings were calculated by averaging consumer ratings of individual dealerships posted to DealerRater.com. Ratings are based on a five-point scale, representing consumer feedback on all levels of the buying experience, including customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price and overall experience.

Along with overall rankings, the CRI ranked automotive manufacturers within the “Luxury” and “Mass Market” brand categories. Lexus ranked highest in the “Luxury” category, with a score of 4.741, followed by Volvo (4.706), Mercedes-Benz (4.705), Audi (4.693) and Acura (4.687). Among “Mass Market” brands, Hyundai was top ranked with a score of 4.712, followed by Buick (4.708), Honda (4.695), Kia (4.686) and Subaru (4.686).

“The CRI provides a comprehensive view of consumer sentiment because feedback is not limited to customers who purchased a vehicle, and includes shoppers as well as service customers,” explains DealerRater CEO Gary Tucker. “A consumer can write a review about all aspects of their experience with a dealer on DealerRater. With this level of insight, dealers have a metric indicating whether they should reevaluate their business practices. Consumers can also use this index as a starting point when looking for a dealership that will provide the best shopping experience.”

The CRI is based on 330,000 verified reviews gathered during a 12 month period from March 2013-2014. For consideration, Mass Market OEMs must have received 1000 reviews and Premium OEMs must have received 500 reviews during this time period. The rankings are based on numerical averages of all reviews that are attributed to a specific OEM.

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Ford, Chevy and Toyota Lead the Way in Edmunds.com’s Inaugural Most Popular Vehicle Awards

Santa Monica, Calif. – Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota are the most decorated brands among a diverse selection of new cars and trucks that earned the 2014 Most Popular on Edmunds.com Awards. The inaugural awards were presented by the car shopping Web site at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Ford has the strongest representation of any brand recognized by the Most Popular on Edmunds.com awards, with 10 winning vehicles. Highlights include the Ford F-150, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Large Trucks; and Ford Mustang, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Entry Sport Cars.

Chevy and Toyota each earned seven awards. Highlights include the Chevy Colorado, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Compact Trucks; and the Toyota Camry, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Midsize Sedans.

Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Porsche and Tesla also were honored in a range of categories.

“Edmunds.com is in a unique position not only to offer independent and trusted reviews of every vehicle on the market, but also to see firsthand which cars and trucks most pique the interest of shoppers on our site,” said Seth Berkowitz, president, Edmunds.com. “By naming these award-winning vehicles, we hope that car shoppers have an easier time evaluating some of the excellent choices available on the market today.”

The 2014 Most Popular on Edmunds.com awards were determined by finding the three models in each of 23 vehicle segments with the highest total monthly car-shopper consideration in calendar year 2013. “Consideration” means the number of unique visitors during a calendar month to the research and inventory pages on Edmunds.com desktop site for each new model.

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Lexus Partners With MyDealerLot

Roswell, Ga. — MyDealerLot (MDL)’s suite of customer service and support solutions will be implemented into Lexus’ network of U.S. dealerships. Under the new program, MDL’s fully integrated radio frequency identification (RFID) service and sales solutions will be offered to Lexus dealers, enabling them to provide personalized service and support to their guests from the beginning to the end of the service and sales process.

The program is designed to provide service excellence through automated guest recognition, process improvement and numerous enhanced services to Lexus guests. In addition, the technology will be used to bridge sales and service operations.

“If you are a manufacturer or dealership that truly has customer service as a top priority and seeks to create a Ritz-Carlton type of environment for guests, then MDL is the clear solution to make this happen,” said George Cresto, founder and CEO, MyDealerLot. “MDL technology integrates with many existing dealership processes and systems to further reduce costs and improve process efficiencies, making it a natural choice for any dealership looking to take their operations to the next level.”

Don Fordiani, national field and dealer operations manager, Lexus, added, “Providing truly personalized and memorable service has always been a Lexus priority. MDL provides real world tested technologies that allow our dealers to implement a new way to interact with our customers both in sales and service.”

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Toyota Motor Sales Reports Steady Sales in April 2013

Torrance, Calif. – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc., reported April 2013 sales results of 176,160 units, a decrease of five percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis compared to the same period last year. Unadjusted for 25 selling days in April 2013 versus 24 in April 2012, TMS sales were down 1.1 percent over the year-ago month.

Toyota Division posted April total sales of 158,069 units, down 5.4 percent year-over-year on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Toyota Division sales decreased 1.5 percent over April 2012.

“From an industry standpoint, continued retail sales growth indicates the underlying strength of the market, which is a great sign for the months ahead, especially with new products, low interest rates and plenty of pent up demand,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division. “Toyota’s two newest models – Avalon and RAV4 – continued to attract customers with double digit gains in April.”

Lexus reported April total sales of 18,091 units, down 1.0 percent on a DSR basis and up 3.1 percent by raw volume compared to the same period last year.

“With strong sales of our recently introduced LS and ES sedans, Lexus’ April sales were three percent higher than last year’s,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “We also celebrated Earth Month by selling 3,145 of our five luxury hybrid models, which accounted for 17 percent of our monthly sales. Lexus now sells two out of every three luxury hybrids, making Lexus the clear luxury hybrid leader.”

Other Highlights:
• TMS retail sales up 4.3 percent
• Toyota Division is No. 1 retail brand for the second consecutive month
• All-new Avalon up 119.4 percent for best April since 2007
• Camry sales top 30,000 units for the fifth consecutive month
• Toyota Division truck sales of nearly 70,000 units, up 11.6 percent
• All-new RAV4 posted best-ever April sales of 18,541 units, up 22 percent
• Tacoma continued to lead its segment with sales of 12,971 units, up 19 percent
• Tundra sales of 8,276 units, up 14.6 percent
• Sienna sales of 9,948 units, up 5.3 percent
• Prius family remains hybrid volume leader with sales of 19,889 units

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